A THREAT FROM THE MASTURBATION MAFIA

VIA VOICEMAIL TO THE EDITOR: "Uh, yes Mr. Humphrey, this is regarding the story by Phil Bustier, or whatever his name is ["Sex Mag Shakeup," Phil Busse, Jan 23]. This is Chad from New York City. If you guys ever ever EVER print anything again like you did this month--and I think you know what I'm talking about--you are in for big fucking trouble. You guys are really playing with fire. I mean, I don't know what your deal is, what you think you can get away with, but you're really fucking around with the wrong people.

It's nothing personal, I don't know you folks--but you people, more than any I've ever seen or have read before, are really skirting the line. You need to get straightened out. You know, most papers learn this lesson after a year. I don't know how long you guys have been around, but get it together, guys. All right thanks a lot. Happy Christmas."

I CAN SAY "GHETTO" TOO

DEAR ANONYMOUS: [RE: I, Anonymous, "Crackers," Jan 23, wherein the writer complains about hipsters using the word "ghetto."] Were you a Polish Jew in World War II? Have you ever been to Warsaw? Why should you have any more claim on the term "ghetto" than an over-privileged hipster? They most likely learned it from a Gucci-wearing, Lamborghini-driving pop star who is no more ghetto than any middle-class white kid. Why is it necessary to single out a "dumb white kid" as opposed to dumb, over-privileged kids in general? Is it okay for a rich rap star to say it while shamelessly flaunting his wealth? Your statements are just as offensive and ignorant as the people you complain about.

Alex D. Wilson

I CAN SAY "GHETTO" ALSO!

TO THE MERCURY: This is in response to the uppity bitch who thinks he/she should have complete control over the English language, the person who wrote "Crackers" [I Anonymous, Jan 23]. Just because you had a pitiful life growing up in your "actual" ghetto doesn't mean you have sole rights and privileges to use the word. The point of language is to change it to meet our communication desires, and just because all of us didn't have your horrible ghetto experience doesn't mean we can't use the word any new way we want to.

I guess you're trying to reinforce our stereotype of what happens when you grow up in an "actual" ghetto: You get narrow-minded and stupid. I suggest you work out your ghetto issues with your therapist instead of taking it out on people who are just doing what humans do: twisting things around to make them meaningful.

Cate

FOREIGN POLICY IS OUR BUSINESS

TO THE EDITOR: I'm writing to comment on the Portland City Council's recent decision not to endorse a proposed resolution for peace [See page 7 for more details!--ed].

Councilman Francesconi says he voted against this resolution because it wasn't Portland's place to meddle in foreign policy. This disturbed me. How is it NOT any citizen's business to meddle in foreign policy? There are pressing needs in Portland, yes, as was pointed out at the meeting. One of the fundamental purposes of the Cities for Peace Campaign, however, is to point out that city and state budgets WILL be affected. If folks are seeing more of their tax dollar going to fund a war, how will they be able to fork out more for education or social services?

I urge the council members who voted against to reconsider and sign the resolution. This is how the system works, isn't it? From local to state to national. Let our state and national legislators know that we cannot afford this war. Tell Bush. Let democracy work. It's been kinda flooey lately.

Cyndi Clifford

THANK GOD FOR PEOPLE LIKE CYNDI CLIFFORD. Not only does she win the Mercury "Letter of the Week," but she's got our vote when our chickenshit City Council is run out of town on a rail. In the meantime, Cyndi wins two passes to the Laurelhurst Theater and a pass to our Winter Prozac Film Series at the Clinton Street. Don't miss Xanadu this Friday!

WOW! FREE MERCURY VALENTINES!

CALLING ALL LOVEBIRDS! It's that time of year again! If you love love like we think you love love, then prove it to the world. Write a 30-word valentine for your smoochy-woochy, email it to us at:

valentine@portlandmercury.com

and we'll print it in our Valentine's Issue--for FREE. Get complete details on page 25. Oh, boy! You're gonna get some booty tonight!